Malema Reckless: Friends

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EXPELLED ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s plan to start a new political party is “political suicide”, Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula, a friend of the fiery youth leader, said at the weekend.

“As a cadre, being trained by the ANC, forming a political party out of the ANC is political suicide. It is out of anger and not necessity,” Mbalula said.

“Being disgruntled about individuals in the ANC cannot lead to the formation of a political party.”

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Last week, Malema announced that he would establish a new political platform, the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Malema is reported to have sent out an e-mail announcing his plans and urged those interested in his venture to contact him via e-mail or social networks.

He also asked for proposals on how to collect money.

But Mbalula said he had “no intention of joining anything”.

Calling Malema’s plans “political adventurism” Mbalula, himself a former African National Congress Youth League leader, said he was friends with Malema.

“And I will remind him that, friendship aside, it is my duty to defend the ANC.”

Mbalula said he did not believe in “veering” away from the ANC, adding: “If it means I part ways with Julius on this, so be it.”

The Minister said Malema needed to be more patient: “His political decision is sad. Julius can bounce back as a solid leader, only if he can remain patient.”

“My honest advice to my friend is that he has been through tribulations, his legal battles, and he was expelled from the movement. But this calls for patience,” Said Mbalula.

“But I respect his choice as a citizen with constitutional rights to belong to whatever party, but his political decision is sad.”

Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale, previously seen as a close Malema ally, also said Malema’s decision was unfortunate.

“We are going to be on the opposing side of the fence. It’s unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, Limpopo human settlements MEC Clifford Motsepe, once also seen as a Malema ally, said they could still be friends, but he would not support his political ambitions.

“I can’t leave the ANC. I will die ANC. I am going to attend branch general meetings with my grandchildren and the day I die my coffin will be draped in black, green and yellow colours,” Motsepe said.

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